Wel Come to One Of Biggest Salt Lake Of Asia
Chillka Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Orissa state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the World. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands. The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances, but it must be stressed, that the migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika River.
The Blue Lagoon
Spread over an area of 1,100-sq-km, the glorious stretch of the Chillika Lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lake. Home to thousands of colourful birds throughout the year, it is particularly noisy with the din of the raucous influx of migratory birds who descend on it from as far off as Siberia in winter.
A real paradise for bird watchers, Chillika Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of its colourful avian charms in a thousand different hues. The white bellied sea eagle, the grey-legged geese, the peach coloured flamingoes, purple moorhen, jacana and heron-all mingle in a flurry of crested feathers and mind-blowing grace.
A Natural Bliss
The surrounding hills and sandy stretches abound in cheetals, blackbucks, monkeys, fishing cats, mongoose and porcupines and a dolphin population cavorting joyfully near the channel meeting the sea. Snakes and turtles, lizards and cobras inhabit the surrounding beach area and wooded undergrowth.
ATTRACTIONS WITHIN THE LAKE
Nalbana Island: A number of islands dot the expanse of the lake including Nalbana Island. Due to its varied flora and fauna, it forms the core of Chilika sanctuary.
Birds Island: It is a haven for the resident and migratory birds. One can watch the birds in their natural habitat here.
Kalijal Island: Kalijal Island is home to the Goddess Kalijai, and hosts a huge fair on Makar Sankranti annually in the month of January. Maa Kalijai is venerated by the local boatsmen.
Satapada: Satapada is another retreat in nature on Chilika Lake, recently opened up to the tourists. With natural charm of being located near the confluence of Chillika Lake and the ocean and for its proximity to Puri (48-km), Satapada is an ideal spot to enjoy Chilika Lake. The thrilling sight of Dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory and resident birds in winter make Satapada a preferred lace for a vacation with nature.
Parikud and Malud: They are colourful islands within the lake.